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Turkey Tales and Turkey Tails: An Island Christmas

I’ve been spending time on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera for the past 7 weeks or so. “Spending time”—such a peculiar expression, as though time could be counted like pennies or pomegranates. Time is much more like taffy, in that in some instances it can seem to stretch and stretch, and in others, break off or shatter. My time here has had many shattered moments, some where the blindingly sharp sun and brilliant blues of the ocean have been more like make-believe metaphors than the cloth that clothes my days.

Let’s skip past wrestling with the quirks and questions of time and move more toward its standard December measure: Christmas. Alice and I will not be on Eleuthera at Christmas, instead stealing away from here just a few days before the date. At some level, I regret that, because Christmas in a foreign country, especially on an island, is just that: foreign. And that foreignness is a good reminder that customs and traditions are just arbitrary, where cultures that might share a holiday like Christmas, don’t share it in quite the same way.

In that spirit, I recently wrote a piece on an island Christmas I did experience some years ago, when we lived on a little stretch of land in Micronesia. Courtesy of Squidoo; look for the Santa wearing flip-flops.

2 thoughts on “Turkey Tales and Turkey Tails: An Island Christmas

  1. Tom, looking around our own heavily-decorated SoCal neighborhood this year, even I have a sense of the foreign!

    The local mash-up of Christmas’s sacred and secular, of Baby Jesuses, frolicking lit-up lawn penguins and a life-sized Santa mannequin holding a martini on somebody’s porch, amuses me but doesn’t evoke any sense of the familiar or nostalgic. Well, the martini-wielding Santa sort of does, as I have a vague childhood memory of him holding one once, and kissing my mom behind the Christmas tree.

    PS Time can fly too. Fingers crossed that happens for you two over the next few weeks.

  2. Hey, you said Baby Jesus and martini in the same sentence! Do I hear them preparing a fiery hammock in hell for you?

    I’m pretty happy that I’ve missed most of the Christmas buildup (which undoubtedly started Nov. 1); it invariably rings hollow.

    Thanks for the well-wishes, missy!

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